Mother Knows Best: Riding | Marie Antoinette's Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: Mother Knows Best: Riding

August 31, 2011

Mother Knows Best: Riding

"You were quite right in thinking I should not approve your riding at fifteen; Mesdames, (Louis XVI's aunts) whom you quote, did not ride till thirty, but you tell me the King approves, and the Dauphin, and that suffices for me; it is they who have the ordering of your life, it is in their hands I have placed my charming Antoinette. Riding on horseback ruins the complexion and ultimately the figure. I consider that if you ride like a man (which I do not doubt you will) it is very dangerous... if you ride as I did as a woman there is less to be said..."

Maria Theresa, 2 December 1770


  1. Ha! If I had listened to my mother about riding ...

    I will say, it doesn't necessarily ruin your figure, but it CAN ruin your body if you ride improperly! *side-eye to the years of bad instruction, pops an Advil*

  2. Riding like a lady was more dangerous actually. Many men lost their wives (and possibly the baby in her womb) if woman should fall while riding thus.

    Charming Antoinette did wisely by riding (and riding like a man). To her figure, complexion and health. Mothers don't always know best (my mother believes women should not shave their legs...)